British supermarkets have introduced measures to limit the purchase of certain fruits and vegetables due to shortages caused by extreme weather conditions overseas. Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, is limiting purchases of tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers to three packs per person. Asda is restricting the purchase of three packs of lettuce, bagged salad, cauliflower, and raspberries, while Morrisons is limiting purchases to two packs of cucumbers, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Aldi and Lidl, the German budget supermarkets, have also issued measures to restrict the purchase of goods.
Farmers in the UK have been struggling with rising energy costs, which has reduced their ability to grow certain fruits and vegetables in heated greenhouses. Tomato disease incidence and higher fuel costs are exacerbating the problem, and farmers in northern Europe are facing similar challenges. The National Farmers’ Union had previously warned about the situation.
The British Retailers Association (BRC) has described the situation as critical, as bad weather conditions in Southern Europe and Northern Africa have reduced the harvest of crops. Morocco has experienced heavy rains, while Spain has seen cold weather. The problem is expected to last for several weeks, with the BRC stating that Britain imports around 95% of its tomatoes during the winter. Tesco is said to be accelerating its work with suppliers to restore normalcy.